The Netflix original series “Pain Hustlers” tells the tale of a business and its workers that promote the sale of a medication that exacerbates the dire effects of the nation’s escalating opioid problem. Even while the movie reflects their avarice, it doesn’t jump to the conclusion that they are all bad people. Liza Drake, the main character, toes the line between wanting to make money and struggling with the idea of her employment. Liza is conflicted because she needs to take care of her daughter Phoebe, who has a medical condition. Liza makes judgements based on her daughter’s welfare, which is her first priority. This is the part Phoebe plays in Liza’s tale.
Phoebe’s Illness Is a Primary Justification for Liza’s Actions
In the film, Liza Drake plays a single mother who tries hard to support her daughter but is unable to maintain a stable employment for an extended period of time. In addition, Phoebe suffers from epileptic convulsions brought on by an arteriovenous malformation in her brain. Phoebe need a keyhole treatment, which is less intrusive but not covered by Liza’s insurance, or a craniotomy to permanently solve the issue.
Even though Liza makes a lot of money when she starts selling Lonafen for Zanna Therapeutics, the procedure still cannot be covered by the money she makes. In the interim, Liza also witnesses the devastation that Lonafen’s flagrant abuse is causing to others, particularly when those close to her pass away from overdoses, and she resolves to act morally because she no longer wishes to participate in Zanna’s nefarious schemes to make money. Liza might also be inspired by the possibility that her daughter will receive the same prescription, which would be her worst nightmare.
In addition, Liza has greater moral authority because of Phoebe than she does because of her supervisor and coworkers. Despite her involvement in the Lonafen sale, she does so because she truly needs the money. Although caring for her baby is more important to her than anything else, she still struggles with the moral conundrum and tries to stop, or at least warn her coworkers, from entering the unlawful region.
Phoebe Drake Doesn’t Have a Real-Life Counterpart
Although “Pain Hustlers” is partially based on the actual scandal surrounding Insys Therapeutics and the selling of Subsys, Phoebe and other characters are made up. Although Liza’s persona is based on a number of real-life individuals, it most closely reflects the story of Sunrise Lee, an exotic dancer who was approached to join Insys as a sales representative in 2012 by Alec Burlakoff, VP of Sales. Like Liza, Sunrise was a mother, but it was unclear if any of her two kids suffered from AVM or any other condition that would drive Sunrise the way Liza does in the film.
Sunrise didn’t need urgent money for surgery because her kids were healthy, but she still had to support them. She also needed to save money because she planned to join in Michigan State University. Burlakoff claimed, “Dancers were the best salespeople,” when he made her a job offer. Later on, he assisted her during the interview, acting in a manner akin to Pete Brenner’s in the film when he alters Liza’s resume and adds “PhD” to the top.
In a matter of weeks, Lee ascended the corporate ladder to become a sales manager, and as a result of an inquiry into Insys’ operations, he was found guilty of racketeering. She is currently changing her ways and laying the groundwork for a brighter future for her kids and herself after serving eight months of her one year and one day sentence in a Kentucky jail.